The Brandricks of Staffordshire
Frances Pye, a younger daughter of John and Anne Pye, was baptised on 1 January, 1648 in Haughton, Staffordshire. She had four brothers and three sisters. The Pye family moved from Haughton to Bromleyhurst in the parish of Abbots Bromley in the 1660s. When her eldest brother died in 1680, she was bequeathed his cupboard and all his brass and pewter and from her father, who died in 1681, she was to receive £40 after the decease of her mother. However, Frances’s mother was a long-lived woman and outlived all but two of her children – Frances was not one of them.
Being a younger daughter, Frances did not have a large dowry to attract an early marriage and it was not until she was thirty three years of age that she married Yeoman John Brandrith of Heatley on 15 October, 1682.
The marriage settlement between the couple and Frances’s brothers, Robert Pye and Thomas Pye (my direct ancestor) makes mention of the parcels of land that John Brandrith was to allocate to the support of Frances, including the messuages, cottage or tenement called the Long field, the little south meadow, land called the Cotsfield, Heatly Croft and other fields with their buildings, barns, stables, cowhouses, orchards, gardens and hempbutts.
Whether Frances had any miscarriages or not during the immediate years after her marriage is unknown but by 1686 she did give birth to her son. I have read a novel in which a wife both looked forward to but also dreaded the impending birth of her child, due to the high mortality associated with giving birth. Frances was one such tragedy and she died three weeks after delivering her son. Frances was buried on 12 May, 1686.
The son, named John after his father, was then raised by his uncle, Robert Pye, for the next four years, until Robert’s death in 1690. Robert’s last will and testament directs, “And further more I desire and my mind and will is that my Executors shall look after and have a care of John Brandreth my sister’s son.” One of the executors was Thomas Pye. Perhaps John was then raised by his uncle Thomas Pye.
John Brandrith married Jane Ashe on 26 August, 1709 in Abbots Bromley. When John died in 1730 his Will stated that he was a blacksmith and had two children: Elizabeth and Richard. The executors of the Will were Thomas Pye junior (the grandson of his uncle Robert Pye) and James Bennett (husband of his uncle Thomas Pye’s daughter, Dorothy). John Brandrith’s assets were only valued at a little over £3.
Richard Brandrick (the spelling of the surname having now changed to Brandrick) married Sarah North and moved to Blithfield, Abbots Bromley and had nine children. It is from this family that the Brandrick family tree began to sprout and grow and spread throughout Staffordshire.